On November 13 we reported that PSU-AAUP submitted a Demand to Bargain over the creation of a workload and grader support policy in the OHSU/PSU Joint School of Public Health. Administrators, initially, were not sure if they had a duty to bargain because they were not sure if the policy created was new, or if it was the codification of an existing policy that was past practice in the School of Community Health prior to its merger into the PHSU/PSU SPH. They also initially advised that they did not believe workload was a mandatory subject of bargaining and the matter might not require bargaining at all. PSU-AAUP the advised we considered that position to run counter to previous positions about workload in that we not only bargained on workload in SBA twice, we reached agreement on workload for academic professionals in Article 17 Section 10. We advised we would likely interpret that position as a refusal to bargain. Refusal to bargain could be the basis for an Unfair Practice Complaint with the Oregon Employment Relations Board.
That declaration got us over the hurdle. We discussed the matter at length at the Labor Management committee meeting. Together, PSU-AAUP and administration determined that the policy was likely the codification of one of the past practices; that there were mixed practices; and none of the practices were well established in that neither administration or PSU-AAUP were aware of them.
As such we agreed that it was likely that the policy created was either a new policy, or is was the codification of one of many practices. We agreed that administration would meet to bargain on the matter, and would try to do so on an expedited basis with smaller teams so the school would have some direction sooner than later.
As for the faculty members who were negatively impacted by the partial codification of the practice, that faculty member would receive a grader for winter term and they were told to work with the SPH Dean's office to get someone appointed as soon as possible.